Mar 24, 2014


I continue to share these memories, because I want you to see how every day the Lord has made us stronger in Him. Some days it's five steps forward and some days it feels like fifteen steps back. But the Lord has never left us, never forsaken us. Oh how the Word is so full of truth, we are blessed to see His truths lived out daily. These are the memories.

If you'd like to read more about the story of our Hannah Grace click here.

January 13, 2014

It’s now the middle of January and our Christmas tree was still up this morning. I love the way it shined in the darkness of our mornings, I love the way my husband turned the tree lights on before leaving for work so that they greeted me when I finally decided to get out of bed.

I think the hardest part was that our Christmas tree was supposed to have a new ornament this year. Before Christmas I searched for the best ‘Baby’s First Christmas’ ornament, but waited to buy it. I waited because I thought maybe our sweet girl could be born after Christmas and then we’d need a different year on the ornament. I never thought she just wouldn’t make it to Christmas. She never had a ‘first’ Christmas with us.

So when I look at the tree in our living room it tricks my mind into thinking that maybe Christmas hasn’t come yet. Maybe that’s why we don’t have a baby yet, because she was due on Christmas Eve and the remaining tree tells me Christmas is still on the way. The tree lies and tells me our baby is still on the way.

It’s a comfort, but a comfort without legs to stand on. The tree only lies. Just like the nursery full of diapers and stuffed animals and beautiful dresses, the nursery is still waiting for the baby to come. And by leaving the tree setup, by leaving the nursery stocked I think I’m trying to wait for Hannah too. But she’s not coming.

So today I packed up the Christmas tree. I took off the ornaments and wrapped them in their bubble wrap like the overly organized person that I am. I took the wreath off the front door and placed it carefully in our Christmas storage boxes. I tried to take down the entire tree, but only my husband has the physical strength to do that. I picked up the unwrapped presents and I put them in the appropriate place around the house. Pineapple slicer in the kitchen, new makeup in the bathroom drawer. I said goodbye to Christmas, because let’s be honest, it’s January. It’s not Christmas anymore.

And the tree was the easy part. But it gave me a little courage to go into the nursery, to look at the storage bins we purchased and to think about them without crying. Many times this week I’ve spoken to myself a few small words from 2 Corinthians 12:10. I keep saying over and over to myself ‘for when I am weak, He is strong.’

I looked at the nursery today in a different light. I remembered what Kyle said the day we walked into the nursery for the first time with empty arms, he said “this nursery wasn’t for her.” And it’s so true. We have friends who will be living in the nursery this summer, filling it once again with the love of friends who are like family while we are away in Colorado. Those friends will need space. All of a sudden I was very practical and got to work. I needed to make space for the friends who will be coming, and then later I’ll bring the baby things back to the nursery when or if we need them again. I thought, I'll just 'get started' packing and somehow that made things easier.

I’m glad I didn’t rush it. I’d tried many times before to pack away her things and all those tries ended with crying and mourning the loss of my sweet girl. And that was good then. But there are very few things that were truly Hannah’s: the blanket we wrapped her in at the hospital that we kept, the pictures of her, the pictures of my belly with her inside, her little name bracelet from the hospital, and then all the loving cards and gifts after she passed. All the rest I realized weren’t hers. The car seat is for our next baby, if we are blessed to ever have another. The toys, the sheets, the crib, the clothes: those are all for Hannah’s brother or sister later on. She’s just so generous giving them away like that, right? Oh our sweet Hannah who could do no wrong.

Bin by bin I packed away the nursery. Not so much packing it away to hide it because she was gone. But to save all the wonderful things so that they’ll be ready when we need them again. First the diapers, then the sheets and blankets, then clothes and onesies and dresses, then tiny little hats, then the books, and then the toys. And then bin by bin was labeled and the lids were shut and it was done.

I felt so brave. Somehow I was proud of Hannah too, but I guess a mother is always proud of her sweet baby.

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